10 Of The Most Intense But Uplifting Protest Films


The Battle of Algiers (1966) Gillo Pontecorvo’s groundbreaking documentary-style film charts Algeria’s 1950s battle for independence from the French government. Shot like a newsreel, events unfolding in the Casbah are told from both sides as we follow the bombing orchestrated by the National Liberation Front guerillas and the torture employed by French paratroopers. It looks and feels eerily real.


The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008) Uli Edel’s pulsating drama charts the misfortunes of German terrorist group the Red Army Faction. The RAF carried out a wave of kidnappings, highjackings and assassinations driven by their revolutionary principles as far-left militants. Triggered by the visit to Berlin of the Sha of Iran in 1967 the story moves to the Middle East across 8 years of frantic action.


Cry Freedom (1987) Denzel Washington plays African activist Steve Biko in Richard Attenborough’s emotional film based on the memoirs of Biko’s friend, the liberal journalist Donald Woods. The courtroom scenes are riveting as Biko, founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, fights oppression before he becomes a martyr to his cause at the height of South Africa’s apartheid regime in the late 70s.